Genesis Bk Xvii - Poem by Caedmon
(ll. 1002-1005) Then the Lord of glory spake unto Cain, and asked
where Abel was. Quickly the cursed fashioner of death made
answer unto Him:
(ll. 1006-1008) "I know not the coming or going of Abel, my
kinsman, his lot or portion; I was not my brother's keeper."
(ll. 1008-1021) And the Gracious Spirit, Lord of angels, made
answer unto him: "Why hast thou slain that faithful man thy
brother in thy wrath, and his blood calleth and crieth unto Me?
Accursed for ever, driven into exile, thou shalt be punished for
this deed of death! The earth shall not yield thee of her
pleasant fruits for thy daily need, but by thy hands her soil is
stained with holy blood. Therefore the green earth shall
withhold from thee her beauty and her delights. In sadness and
dishonour shalt thou depart from thy home, because thou hast
slain thy brother, Abel. Loathed of thy kinsmen, an exile and a
fugitive, shalt thou wander on the face of the earth."
(ll. 1022-1035) And Cain made answer unto Him: ...."I need not
look for pity in this world, High King of heaven, for I have lost
Thy love and favour and goodwill. Weary the ways my feet must
wander, in dread of woe, whenever one shall meet me in my guilt,
near or far, and by his hate remind me of my brother's death. I
shed his blood and poured his life-blood on the ground. From
this day hast Thou cut me off from good! Thou scourgest me from
home! Some cruel foe shall slay me. And I must needs go forth,
accursed, from Thy sight, O Lord!"
(ll. 1036-1043) And the Lord of victory said unto him: "Thou
needest not yet dread death, nor the pangs of death, though thou
shalt wander, far from kinsmen, with thy doom upon thee. If any
man shall slay thee with his hands, on him shall fall a
seven-fold vengeance, and torment for that deed of sin."
(ll. 1043-1054) And God, the Lord of glory, set a mark upon him
and a token, lest any foe from far or near should dare to lift
his hand against him; and He bade him go forth in his guilt from
mother and kinsmen and from all his tribe. Then with despairing
heart, a friendless exile, Cain departed out of the sight of God,
and chose a home and dwelling in the eastern lands, far from his
father's house; and there a comely maiden bare him children after
(ll. 1055-1073) Enoch was first-born of the sons of Cain. He
built a city with his kinsmen, the first of all those strongholds
under heaven which sword-girt men established; and in the city
sons were born to him. Irad was first-born of the sons of Enoch;
and he begat children, and all the tribe and race of Cain
increased. And after Irad Mahalaleel was warden of the treasure,
in his father's stead, until he died. Then Methusael dispensed
the treasure to his brothers and his kinsmen, man for man, till,
full of many years, he died.
(ll. 1073-1081) And at his father's death Lamech succeeded to the
treasure and the household goods. Two wives bare children to him
in his home, Adah and Zillah. Now one of the sons of Lamech was
called Jabal; and he was first of all men by his skill to stir
the harp to music and its strings to song.
Comments about Genesis Bk Xvii by Caedmon
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